04/05/2014 1:47PM

Oaklawn Park: Secret Circle draws rail for Count Fleet Sprint Handicap

Shigeki Kikkawa
Secret Circle finished second in the Grade 2 Palos Verdes in February in his first start of the year.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Secret Circle drew the rail for the Grade 3, $300,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn Park on Thursday. He’s part of a six-horse field that includes Louisiana-bred sprint sensation Heitai.

Secret Circle is the 123-pound highweight for the Count Fleet, which will be his second start since the Breeders’ Cup. In his seasonal debut, he was second by a neck in the Grade 2 Palos Verdes at Santa Anita on Feb. 2. Secret Circle is no stranger to Oaklawn, as he won the track’s Grade 3 Southwest and Grade 2 Rebel in 2012.

Martin Garcia has the mount on Secret Circle, who races for the partnership of Karl Watson, Mike Pegram, and Paul Weitman.

Heitai, weighted next at 120, will be seeking his fifth consecutive win. He defeated open-company sprinters by five lengths last out at Fair Grounds in the $96,000 Duncan F. Kenner. Heitai earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 106. Diego Saenz ships in to ride for Rowell Enterprises and trainer Karl Broberg.

The Count Fleet field from the rail out, with riders, is: Secret Circle, Garcia; Apprehender, David Mello; Heitai, Saenz; Alsvid, Ken Tohill; Lemon Drop Dream, Ricardo Santana Jr.; and Picko’s Pride, Ramon Vazquez.

There were a couple of notable horses who passed on the Count Fleet. Gentlemen’s Bet, an Oaklawn-based runner who was third to Secret Circle in the BC Sprint in his last start, was to ship Saturday to Kentucky, where he will undergo oxygen therapy, said his trainer, Ron Moquett.

Work All Week, who won his sixth straight race in the $100,000 Hot Springs at Oaklawn on March 8, also did not enter. His trainer, Roger Brueggeman, said following a recent work that the horse’s next-race options include the $100,000 Robert S. Molaro for Illinois-breds at Hawthorne on April 19.